Letter to the Editor:
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) went ahead and put a couple of crosswalks across Highway 441 in Belleview and its hard to imagine what they were thinking. They may have thought it was a good idea, but they need to take a closer look at the dangers it brings.
Highways are meant for fast driving cars, and when you got folks crossing the road, it messes things up. More cars on the road means more chances for accidents. People might start driving recklessly, changing lanes suddenly or driving all angry. That just makes things worse.
Yeah, the idea behind having a crosswalk is to keep people safe, but it seems to me like these new ones will backfire. People walking might not realize how fast the cars are coming and just try to cross without being careful. They think the drivers will stop, but that ain’t always true. Plus, if you don’t know the area, you might not realize how fast cars are zooming by. Having a crosswalk might make people think it’s safer than it really is. They might cross when they shouldn’t, especially when there’s lots of traffic or drivers not paying attention.
A driver who actually stops for pedestrians at these new crosswalks is just asking to get rear-ended by another person who is probably texting and driving behind them. They already got enough distractions on the road with phones, GPS, people turning into McDonalds, or other people in the car. Now they need to keep an eye out for people trying to cross 441 too. It takes their attention away from driving, and that can cause accidents. They might react late or not judge things right. And it’s stressful. Trying to deal with all the extra stuff going on makes it harder to focus on driving.
When you put a crosswalk on a big highway, you need to plan things out right. It ain’t just about painting some stripes on the road. You need to think about traffic, how people walk, and the roads around it. You need some type of lights and stuff that makes it easier for people to cross safely. Without all that, having these new crosswalks are just asking for trouble.
Anthony M., Belleview